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Video Game Culture, Reviews and Media

South Park: The Stick of Truth

I recently purchased this on a Steam sale and let it sit in my library for a bit. I decided to jump in. Hours later and I had to force myself to put it down and type this. I could not be more impressed by what the guys and gals over at Obsidian Entertainment did with the license. It really does feel like you are playing an episode of the show.

It picks up right where the Black Friday Trilogy ended. You don’t need to have watch the shows to understand the game but they are very entertaining so I’d recommended it regardless. In fact if you are a fan of the show you will be treated to almost non-stop fan service. There is such a history surrounding this show that it has a virtually bottomless bag of references to pull from.

There's my little fighter!

There’s my little fighter!

The “elves” have stolen the stick of truth and it’s up to you to get it back. Kenny and Cartman appear early on in the game as well as a few other regulars but you can tell that some of the other big names in the show are being held onto for later in the game. I’m about three hours in and haven’t seen Stan or Kyle yet. That’s fine with me since so far the game has been more than entertaining and had me laughing at just about every scene and reference. It goes without saying that this IS a South Park title and with it comes all the “inappropriateness” that you would expect,  especially when they abbreviate the Kingdom of Kuppa Keep to just it’s initials and have Token shout it.

The RPG elements are well done and actually have some good depth to them without being overly complicated. The menus do take some getting used to but are still easy enough to maneuver and the rest of the interface is pretty easy to learn. The combat system is rewarding and if you fall in battle it really does feel like it’s you who lost since you are also in charge of blocking incoming attacks. I thought I’d hate the mechanic of blocking but it’s forgiving enough to be useful and fun instead of aggravating which is welcomed since it’s a necessary mechanic to stay alive.

The graphics are what you’d expect from South Park. Literally. It looks like the show, exactly like it. I’m playing on a 22 inch computer monitor but if I would hook it up to my big TV I could probably convince someone it’s a new episode of the show during the cut scenes. I can’t express how much that helps the immersion. To play a game that’s using a license of a well-known TV show and looks pixel perfect is such a nice touch that it’s probably half of what has kept me engaged in the game as I’m a huge fan. The great writing and voice acting from the cast also helps, and it’s damn good.

This game has received mostly positive reviews and has sold decently well. If you haven’t played it yet and are a fan of the show I don’t know why you would wait any longer. Go out and get a copy. It’s easily worth the price of admission.

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